February 2009 Archives

Is there a secret all-party deal on Digital Britain?

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Not since the Mandarins blocked the 1982 attempt to turn the DTI into the Department of IT have we had not only a Government Minister but also his shadow, who understand the critical importance of ICT as a metatechnology. They share the message. The quality of our ICT infrastructure, including skills and broadband will underpin or undermine economic recovery

ICANN rejuvenation is central to curbing SPAM and Malware

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The efficient functioning of the Internet, on which modern society has come to depend, relies on the efficient functioning of the domain name system.  The abuse of that system is at the heart of the malware industry. That governance of that system, from ICANN downwards, is run by registrars for registrars. The registrars range from the reputable to the criminal. ICANN recently discovered that one of those at the heart of a web of malpractice was indeed a convicted criminal.

Surgery for the rotten heart of the Internet?

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Today was the deadline for comment on the ICANN consultation  on the Initial Report on Fast Flux Hosting. This is the "technology" used by spammers, phishers, botnet herders, denial of service extortionists and cyberwarfare practioners around the world. It also has some, but not that many and decreasing, legitimate uses. ICANN meets in London next week to discuss what comes next.  

Cambridge celebrates 800 years by debating abolition of academic freedom

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On 3rd February the Campaign for Cambridge Freedom won a key vote in the Regent Council to help protect the academic freedom that made the University and its acolytes (from Harvard onwards) "the Devil's Flamethrower" (article in THE) with over 800 years of sometimes very uncomfortable discussion on the nature of truth, from Duns Scotus to Hawking (via Erasmus, Newton and Darwin) and Walsingham to Dearlove (via Turing and Klugman)..

Garbage protection, muck spreading or data governance?

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The multi-million pound garbage protection industry, including all those lawyers, consultants, Caldecott Guardians et al who expensively obfsucate some very simple basic principles, have much to anwer for - but Clauses 152-154 & Schedule 18 of the Coroners & Justice Bill appear to be a misjudged sledge hammer to crack a jellyfish. 

A Politician's Guide to Picking Winners

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This morning the TImes has yet another article on Government IT failures. Last week I sat in on yet another discussion on how to avoid yet another generation of big public sector IT fiascos. I will not repeat my "why do we never learn" message. Instead I will boil it down to six questions.

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